I was quite looking forward to the new Britny Fox album, even though I wouldn't consider myself a diehard fan. The band's first couple of records were good examples of US melodic metal before original singer Dean departed.
With new singer Tommy Paris, the band recorded a third album before walking away. In 2000 they reformed and released the rather good Long Way To Live concert album. That's what sparked my renewed interest in the band along with thoughts of what they could come up with in the studio.|
Sadly, I feel the result is largely disappointing. The band – for whatever reason – has decided to take the musically brave, bold and adventurous route, recording an album of songs that is directly in opposition to their usual style.
To successfully navigate this route, you need great songs and a fan base that is willing to move with you. Neither is the case here.
It's ok to update one's sound and try and appear more contemporary, but after a 12 year wait, I can't imagine many Britny Fox fans that would want anything other than a slamming hard rock record. This ain't it.
Listening to these songs it's hard to imagine who this will appeal to. I'm sure there are plenty of Fox fans that will love some moments, but not the album as a whole.
There are several problems. Several tracks are amazingly short – 2.5 minutes, while there's another track that's an instrumental and another that's only a 1 minute guitar interlude. Furthermore, the lyric/vocal content on this album is minimal. Some tracks only have 10 and 12 lines of lyrics!
The band is relying on the music to do the talking, but it's far too diverse to succeed.
The opening track Pain is a crunchy heavy rocker with a solid riff – it certainly gets things off to a positive start.
While second track Freaktown is catchy modern rocker, it has some annoying aspects to the chorus melody.
TLUC is fairly sparse lyrically, instead relying on the music to carry it. But the song just isn't strong enough. No big hook or chorus to sink one's teeth into.
LA is another track that has an interesting Beatle-esque piano verse, but launches into a simple and rather dull chorus.
Another question for the band - where are the hard edged guitar tones of previous records? Where are the solos and the big riffs?
The title track instrumental is an instant skip for me, but at least there's some guitar soloing in there.
The acoustic, uptempo pop ballad Is It Real is better – catchier and features a better chorus.
Far Enough gets heavy finally, but I really don't think the lead vocals are very strong at all.
Lonely Ones is another about-face pop ballad. Interesting and more memorable, it's one of the better album tracks.
Memorial is another stronger track, with a tougher guitar sound, but still no big hooks.
Sri Lanka continues the stronger guitar approach, but is bland in places and bizarre in others. I have no idea why it has to run over 8 minutes in length.
Regardless of the direction chosen by the band, the songs themselves are not memorable.
And I seriously have to question the thinking behind the style change. Yes, this is 2003, but to Britny Fox fans, this is the follow up to the band's last album in 1991.
Additionally, while energetic, the 3 bonus videos are only in Real Video format and are not the greatest of quality.
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